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Vacancy Referrals, Job Search, and the Duration of Unemployment: A Randomized Experiment

  • Per Engström
  • Patrik Hesselius
  • Bertil Holmlund

One goal of the public employment service is to facilitate matching between unemployed job seekers and job vacancies; another goal is to monitor job search so as to bring search efforts among the unemployed in line with search requirements. The referral of job seekers to vacancies is one instrument used for these purposes. We report results from a randomized Swedish experiment where the outcome of referrals is examined. To what extent do unemployed individuals actually apply for the jobs they are referred to? Does information to job seekers about increased monitoring affect the probability of applying and the probability of leaving unemployment? The experiment indicates that a relatively large fraction (one third) of the referrals do not result in job applications. Information about intensified monitoring causes an increase in the probability of job application, especially among young people. However, we find no significant impact on the duration of unemployment.

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File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1111/10.1111/labr.2012.26.issue-4
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Article provided by CEIS in its journal LABOUR.

Volume (Year): 26 (2012)
Issue (Month): 4 (December)
Pages: 419-435

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Handle: RePEc:bla:labour:v:26:y:2012:i:4:p:419-435
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  1. Peter Fredriksson & Bertil Holmlund, 2006. "Improving Incentives in Unemployment Insurance: A Review of Recent Research," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 20(3), pages 357-386, 07.
  2. Ashenfelter, Orley & Ashmore, David & Deschenes, Olivier, 2000. "Do Unemployment Insurance Recipients Actively Seek Work? Evidence From Randomized Trials in Four U.S. States," IZA Discussion Papers 128, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
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